She likes to watch him as he works on his boat, while she sits on his workbench in the basement; she lets her eyes free to roam his body, observing the strong muscles on his back tense and ripple under his old NIS T-shirt.
She likes to stop on the catwalk to look at him on her way to MTAC. Somehow he always senses her eyes on him. And when their eyes meet, if only for a fleeting moment, she is reminded once again of how easy it is for her to read him.
She likes to watch him interact with kids, as though he had spent his whole life around children. She knows he would be a terrific father. And while she watches him play with little Zach down in the bullpen, she can envision herself years from now; a baby seat in the back of her town car and a diaper bag next to her briefcase, feeding a blue-eyed baby boy while reading reports in her study.
It is almost endearing.
She likes the way he answers his phone, the commanding bark that used to intimidate her just a little when she was his probie. Only after Marseille did it completely stop being the slightest bit frightening. But by then she already noticed how his voice took on an imperceptibly softer note when he knew it was her.
It feels good to hear his ragged, laboured breath in her ear while they're lost in each other, making love with an intensity that scares her sometimes. And when he rasps out her name, collapsing on top of her, she can't help the smile spreading across her face as she realizes once again that she's gotten under his skin as much as he's gotten under hers.
She likes how unnaturally warm he always is, even on the coldest winter nights. She likes to snuggle into his side and steal his body heat while she's wrapped tightly in his arms; his calloused fingers raising goose bumps as they run over her skin in a caress that is completely unhurried and yet deeply sensual.
She likes to take her time exploring his body with her hands and lips, getting acquainted over and over again with the sensitive spots that are likely to elicit the best responses from him and using the knowledge to her advantage.
She spends hours, sometimes, just laying next to him and touching his face; tracing the lines with her petite fingers, smoothing the hard edges and taking great pride in the way he just relaxes and drops his defences under her soothing touch.
She is fond of the cold metal of his dog tags nestled between her breasts at all times; the most tangible reminder of him when they are apart.
She likes the aromatic scent of wood, a smell she easily became accustomed to after he spent hours teaching her how to sand his boat. She associates the smell with the musky scent of his perspiration dampening his T-shirt while his arms are around her, his hands pushing hers while he teaches her to sand with the grain of the wood.
She is happy that he decides not to wear any cologne, so that she can still smell the distinctive scent of sawdust lingering all around him.
The soothing fragrance that will always be just his.
She likes bourbon. An acquired taste that never quite left her after the first time she tried it. She finds the burning sensation of the liquor tumbling down her throat soothing somehow.
She likes coffee, too. Jamaican blend, with no sugar nor cream. She has gotten used to that after working with him for years. Just like she got used to the sting of bourbon.
Now she likes to taste the characteristic savour of coffee and bourbon on his lips. A taste that never leaves his mouth, a bittersweet flavour that is addictive in itself.
But it becomes intoxicating when mixed with another distinctive taste that she can only identify as Jethro.
She sometimes refers to it as "female sixth sense", despite the annoying cliché she has never been comfortable with.
It's always there; a flutter in her stomach, an inexplicably shallow intake of breath. Something she cannot express or even quite describe.
But it's the one thing that always tells her when he needs her close to chase away his old demons, or when she should just step back and give him the space he needs to work it out on his own.